Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

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Outfoxing jihadi financiers: news reading tips

January 29, 2015
  • American banks have begun breaking off their old love affair with Arab banks… more>>
  • A Democrat congressman recently planned to speak at an event with a Taliban fundraiser… more>>
  • Too often, organized smuggling networks simply aren’t prosecuted… more>>
  • A Pakistani boatload of terrorists self-detonated off India’s waters. Most Indian media and officials agree that a terrorist plot was foiled in the process, except for the Indian Express which claimed the offenders were just petty smugglers. A blogger carefully dismantles the Indian Express’s version of events… more>>
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Terror-linked halal certifier exposed

January 21, 2014

IFANCA, the main halal certification organization in the U.S., is associated with several groups and individuals who have supported terrorism either financially or verbally.

Money Jihad has previously revealed IFANCA’s links to the Saudi-based terror financing Muslim World League.  Now, FrontPage Mag has laid out additional affiliations including ISNA, the Mosque Foundation, the MSA, and NAIT in an article called “Baby Food Jihad.”

When consumers buy products with IFANCA’s crescent-M logo, that means that the food manufacturer has paid IFANCA to be inspected for halal compliance before the logo can be used.  The proceeds go toward IFANCA’s promotion of halal foods both domestically and overseas, where IFANCA is playing an increasingly active role.  The business model is very lucrative for IFANCA, especially since they pay no taxes (even though they are not a charity).

In Canada, profits from the halal certification racket have been diverted to Hamas.  Such activities by IFANCA cannot be ruled out considering the groups with whom IFANCA associates, its history of financial misrepresentations, and IFANCA’s increasing activities abroad.

An excerpt from “Baby Food Jihad” follows:

…IFANCA is working with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to create a national halal standards and accreditation body. In 2007 and 2008, ISNA, which was co-founded by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami al-Arian, was named by the United Sates Justice Department as a co-conspirator in the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. Just this past September, the Canadian government stripped ISNA of its tax status in Canada for the financing of a Pakistani terrorist group.

IFANCA is an active member of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC). Other members include: the Mosque Foundation (MF), which has held fundraisers for individuals and groups associated with PIJ and Hamas; Islamic Relief (IR), which has been associated with al-Qaeda financing and that was named by the Israeli government a front for Hamas; Helping Hand (HH), which partnered with a Pakistani charity at the same time that charity delivered close to $100,000 to the residence of the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal; and the Muslim American Society (MAS), which has used the internet to propagate materials degrading women, cursing Christians, and calling for the murder of Jews and homosexuals.

IFANCA’s terror and hate-related affiliations are understandable, given the individuals who are in charge of the organization.

Muhammad Munir Chaudry is a Founding Board Member and President of IFANCA. He is listed, along with a photo, on the “Speaker” page of ISNA. Sharing the page with him are fellow ISNA speakers: Esam Omeish, who resigned from the Virginia Commission on Immigration, after videos surfaced depicting him calling for violent jihad; Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a reported front for Hamas; Siraj Wahhaj, who was named a party to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the former South Asia Division Coordinator for KindHearts, a charity whose funds were frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department in February 2006 for its alleged role as a Hamas financier.

Roger Othman is the Executive Director of IFANCA. According to his bio found on the IFANCA website, Othman “has served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Mosque Foundation.” As mentioned earlier, MF has been involved in Palestinian terror-related fundraising. In July 2007, one of Othman’s fellow MF Executive Committee alumni, Muhammad Salah, was convicted of obstruction of justice for making false statements during a legal proceeding and was sentenced to 21 months in prison. According to the FBI, Salah was recruiting and training Hamas members and was raising money for Hamas.

Ahmad Hussein Sakr is a member of IFANCA’s Board of Directors and has been with IFANCA since its inception. Prior to IFANCA, he was a founding member and president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), ISNA’s main youth group and the first major Muslim Brotherhood organization inside the U.S. Sakr also served as an officer and sat on the Board of Directors of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), ISNA’s financing wing. Like ISNA, NAIT was named by the United States government as a co-conspirator to the financing of Hamas. As well, Sakr served as the first director and representative of the Muslim World League (MWL), a group that has reportedly been involved in the funding of Hamas, al-Qaeda and other terrorist outfits.

Sakr is the author of the book, ‘Pork: Possible Reasons for its Prohibition.’ In it, he describes Jews as being cursed, monkey-like, filthy and corrupt. He wrote: “It is known that some of the children of Israel regularly disobeyed Allah and as a result, were cursed. Some of them stagnated spiritually and mentally and hence became idol-worshippers; others lost their mission in life as human beings and became entertainers (if such a term is to be used) like monkeys, apes and chimpanzies [sic], and still others became filthy of mind and body, gluttonous eaters of carnivorous animals, and lived totally a corrupted life as swines [sic]”…

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Prominent members of radical mosque indicted for money laundering

August 20, 2013

Amer Ahmad, the former deputy treasurer and CFO of the state of Ohio and former city comptroller for mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago, Illinois, and his longtime friend Mohammed Noure Alo have been indicted for money laundering.  They were members the radical Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Columbus, Ohio.

A tip of the hat to anti-money laundering lawyer Christine Duhaime for tweeting this out from Columbus’s Channel 10:

Former Ohio Deputy Treasurer, Columbus Lawyer Indicted In Alleged Money Laundering Scheme

Thursday August 15

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The former Ohio deputy treasurer and a lawyer from Columbus are accused of engaging in bribery and money laundering scheme involving the Ohio Treasurer’s Office.

Amer Ahmad, 38, of Chicago, and Mohammed Noure Alo, 35, of Columbus, were indicted Thursday on charges of conspiracy and honest services wire fraud. Two others also were indicted.

Ahmad also is charged with money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, federal program bribery and making false statements…

Ahmad and Alo have a documented history of improprieties.  In 2009, former Ohio treasurer Kevin Boyce “hired [Mohammed Noure] Alo’s wife in late December to fill a sudden opening in his office. Ahmad said the job, which pays $37,500 a year, was not posted. He announced the opening at his mosque and [his friend] Alo’s wife, [Walaa] Waeda, responded. She was the only job candidate interviewed, Ahmad said.”

The Dayton Daily News reported that Ahmad did not disclose this hiring of Waeda when a state contract was awarded to one of Alo’s clients, State Street Bank.  Recently, State Street was also selected to manage a major Saudi sharia-compliant investment fund in Ireland.

After serving as deputy treasurer of Ohio, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel hired Ahmad to become the comptroller of Chicago, despite the fact that “When Emanuel brought Ahmad to City Hall in late April 2011, newspapers in Ohio already had raised questions about the links between Ahmad and Alo after a Boston-based bank won business from the Ohio treasurer’s office after hiring Alo as its lobbyist.”

Current Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel was previously excoriated by the liberal media for accurately pointing out the improper dealings of Boyce, Ahmad, and Alo during his campaign to unseat Boyce.  So far, the media has yet to acknowledge that Mandel was right all along.

In addition to attending the radical Noor mosque, Amer Ahmad was a speaker in 2010 at the Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals (CAMP), a group with several ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.

Ahmad and his wife created a community service organization called “SalamCorps” for which no registration or tax records could be found by Money Jihad.  Noure Alo and Walaa Waeda participated in a SalamCorps event.

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Terror financier sentenced to 14 years

January 25, 2013

Muslim front company owner

Tahawwur Rana, an Islamic extremist who used a Chicago front company to fund the Pakistani jihadist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.  Rana also bankrolled activities of his lifelong friend David Coleman Headley, the lead scout behind the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks—attacks which were also funded by Pakistan’s ISI spy service via Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Headley himself was sentenced to 35 years in prison yesterday.  He was largely responsible for the deaths of over 160 people including six Americans.  U.S. officials claimed that Headley was cooperative with investigators.  Eric Holder authorized prosecutors not to seek the death penalty, and the prosecutors didn’t even seek a life sentence in light of Headley’s “cooperation.”

Asked if he was remorseful about the loss of life, Headley simply said “they were Indians.”

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How the Arab League roped 7 U.S. companies into their Israel boycott in 2012

November 17, 2012

The Arab League has imposed a formal economic boycott against Israel since 1948 to the present.  In 1977, Congress passed legislation prohibiting U.S. businesses from becoming instruments of foreign-led, non-U.S. boycotts such as the Arab League boycott of Israel.

Under the law, if an entity asks an American firm for assurance that it does no business with Israel, the U.S. company is supposed to report that request to the federal government.  The business is not supposed to comply with the request or furnish information to the requestor that would help the Arab League enforce its boycott.

The Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance has settled with seven U.S. companies in 2012 for 44 alleged violations of antiboycott regulations this year:

  • Parfums de Ceour, a Connecticut-based discount perfume seller, furnished information three times to the United Arab Emirates, and failed to report six requests it received from the UAE, to assist with the boycott.
  • The Miami branch of Banco Sabadell provided boycott-related information twice to Syria.
  • Samuel Shapiro & Co., a trade logistics company in Maryland, made five failures to report requests from the UAE for boycott guarantees.
  • SteelSummit International, a New York steel producers, gave information four times to Saudi Arabia about whether it had business relationships with Israel.
  • Polk Audio, a speaker manufacturer in Maryland, failed to report a request from Oman and provided information to Oman.
  • Dover Energy’s Texas valve and switch maker, Norriseal, failed six times to report requests from Pakistan and four instances of cooperating with Pakistan’s requests for boycott assurances.
  • Grainger, the Illinois-based industrial supplier, failed to report 12 requests it received from Kuwait for boycott information.

The companies were required to pay over $100,000 total in civil penalties for the above violations this year.

A possible defense of the businesses is that requests from importers or banks from the Arab League states are deceptively designed to elicit the information they want without directly inquiring about business dealings with Israel.  Instead, they’ll request a signed statement confirming that a company’s ship can enter an Arab port, which is designed to weed out companies and shippers that have done business with Israel.

Nevertheless, U.S. antiboycott regulations have been on the books for over 40 years, and companies—particularly those doing business in the Middle East—should know that by now.

Hat tip and thanks to Twitter pal RushetteNY for suggesting coverage of antiboycott compliance.

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Chicago sharia bank linked to Usmani

June 4, 2012

The Chicago-based Devon Bank has been named the best Islamic bank in the U.S. for 2012 by Global Finance magazine.

The person who approves Devon Bank’s “faith-based financing” products is Mufti Muhammad Nawal-ur-Rahman, the president and founder of the Shariah Board of America.

A professional biography of Mufti Rahman listed the notorious Mufti Taqi Usmani as one of the advisors to the Shariah Board of America when it was chartered.

Mufti Rahman is also part of the Tablighi Jamaat movement, an offshoot of the radical Deobandi school of Islam, which has been involved in “the fringes of numerous terrorism investigations.”

Mufti Rahman’s rather hard to find biography follows after the jump: Read the rest of this entry ?

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Four-star Islamic charity downgraded by nation’s leading charitable evaluator

February 27, 2012

Charity Navigator has lowered its overall rating of the Zakat Foundation.  The historically four-star rated Islamic non-profit organization received its first three-star rating late last year, which was reaffirmed by Charity Navigator’s second overall three-star rating of the Zakat Foundation on Feb. 1, 2012.

Historical ratings from Charity Navigator

Last fall, the Zakat Foundation—one of the five largest Islamic charities in America—received a two-star rating on accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator.  Deficiencies included the lack of a written policy by the Zakat Foundation against conflicts of interest.  Money Jihad believes this is an intentional decision by the Zakat Foundation because executive director Khalil Demir probably has his wife on the foundation’s payroll.

The Zakat Foundation also received low marks from Charity Navigator for not recording the minutes of board meetings, for its records retention policy, for its process of determining Khalil Demir’s salary, and a lack of accessible audited financials on its website.  Charity Navigator found that the Zakat Foundation has made a few improvements to its website since last fall, and has slightly increased its transparency rating, but still scores three stars overall.  Without any federal agency overseeing U.S. nonprofits, Charity Navigator is widely regarded as the nation’s top charitable evaluator.

Charity Navigator's low marks for transparency at the Zakat Foundation

Previously, Money Jihad uncovered the Zakat Foundation’s 2010 work with Muslim Hands, a British-based charity accused by Israel of funding Hamas.  FrontPage Magazine has alleged that the Zakat Foundation sponsored a grant to IHH, another “Union of Good” pro-Hamas charity.

A Zappos customer recently reported to Money Jihad that the Zakat Foundation was the beneficiary of $1,300 that was taken from his bank account without his authorization.  The pilfered money was “refunded” after an arduous process described by the Zappos customer.

The downgrading by Charity Navigator is just the latest black mark against the Zakat Foundation, which as recently as Jan. 2010 was hailed by Hillary Clinton’s State Department as a valued partner in disaster relief overseas.

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Mr. Boom Boom wired cash to terrorist kingpin

February 14, 2012

This guilty cab driver was close to Ilyas Kashmiri, a well-known terrorist mastermind in India who possibly died last year.  From Voice of America:

A Pakistani-born cab driver in Chicago, Illinois has pleaded guilty to sending money to an ally of al-Qaida.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, admitted in court Monday to one count of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group.

Prosecutors say that in November 2009, Khan wired $950 to Pakistan, and asked for at least part of the money to be delivered to Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistan-based terrorist leader with ties to al-Qaida. Khan is alleged to have a longstanding relationship with Kashmiri.

Prosecutors also alleged that in 2010, Khan discussed plans for a terrorist attack on a U.S. stadium. Officials say they recorded Khan saying he would plant multiple bomb-filled bags around the stadium and then, “boom, boom, boom, boom.” Khan was arrested that year.

Under the original charges filed against Khan, he could have faced up to 30 years in prison. The 58-year-old Khan will, however, likely serve far less time as a result of this plea agreement. The agreement recommends that Khan serve between five and eight years in prison. Sentencing is set for May 30.

Meanwhile, Amina Farah Ali, a Minnesota jihadist who was convicted of funding Al Qaeda offshoot al-Shabaab faces up to 195 years in prison for transfers totalling $8,600.

Khan’s attorney said the plea bargain was “too good a deal to pass up.”

Up to 30 years in prison reduced to five years with a potential for early release is “too good to pass up”?  I should say so.  Rewarding cooperation is one thing, but did prosecutors have to give away the whole store?

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Scam victim says Zakat Foundation took $1,300

February 6, 2012

Money Jihad has been contacted by a consumer who says his bank information was compromised, and that $1,300 was transferred out of his account to the Illinois-based Zakat Foundation without his consent in the wake of the Jan. 15 Zappos security breach.

Our tipster says that the Zakat Foundation has finally “refunded” his $1,300 after a lengthy slog, but he was still concerned about how many other people may have been affected and for what purpose the transactions were made.  Money Jihad is unable to verify the allegation against the Zakat Foundation independently, but details provided privately by the consumer about his experience are consistent with aspects of the Zakat Foundation that are unknown to the general public.

The Zakat Foundation is one of the nation’s five largest Islamic charities.  Its tax filings with the IRS indicate that its largest program expenditures overseas are in sub-Saharan Africa, where the Zakat Foundation says it is actively involved in relief camps, food distribution, and digging wells in the Horn of Africa.

Previously, Money Jihad has documented the Zakat Foundation’s cooperation with the British-based Muslim Hands, an organization identified by Israel as a member of the Union of Good network of charities that supports Hamas.  The U.S. Treasury Department has designated the Union of Good as a Hamas-funding entity.

If you have been a victim of online fraud that has resulted in an unauthorized payment to the Zakat Foundation or to any other entity, you should pursue an immediate refund through your credit card company or bank.  Charities are regulated by states, so you should also promptly file a complaint with your state’s charitable regulator (which in the case of the Zakat Foundation is the Illinois attorney general).  Alerting law enforcement may be necessary depending on the circumstances.

In this modern Internet era, you should also go public with your complaint so that fellow web users are aware of which entities are benefiting from online security breaches.  Get the word out and spare other citizens the heartache!

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For-profit halal board claims tax-exempt status

January 24, 2012

Wahhabi-backed U.S. halal certifier pays top officers 6-figure salaries, gets $5 million in business income, claims public charity status

If a food manufacturer wants to call its products halal, and obtain a label that attests to its halal compliance, that manufacturer must submit an application for review by a halal certification organization.

In the U.S., halal certifiers are not government entities and, unlike organic food certifiers, are not accredited by the government.  The halal boards are privately run.

One of the largest halal groups is the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA), a Chicago-based multi-million dollar enterprise.  But as Family Security Matters has noted, “There are very few transparent news reports of the expansion” of the halal industry in North America.  The time has come for fuller scrutiny.

First, IFANCA proclaims on its own website that it is recognized and endorsed by the Saudi-based, Wahhabi hegemon Muslim World League.  The MWL has funded Al Qaeda, Hamas, and other terrorist organizations throughout the world in an effort over several decades to export and ingrain Wahhabism across the planet.  But this doesn’t seem to bother IFANCA.

Second, IFANCA claimed tax-exempt status in its 2010 tax return even though the vast majority of its reported revenues comes from “inspection fees.”  These are fees that IFANCA charges to food producers for the “privilege” of sporting IFANCA’s halal food logo.  Such fees sound a lot more like ordinary business income that should be taxable rather than charitable or “public” contributions which would qualify the entity for tax-exempt status.  IFANCA’s Form 990 showed $5,519,829 in inspection fee revenue.  Its only other reported revenues were $14,466 in gifts.

To qualify for tax-exempt status, a charity needs to get over one-third of its income from donations or grants and no more than one-third of its income from business activity.  With 100 percent of its income from apparent business activity, IFANCA falls far short of federal standards for a nonprofit charity.  (IFANCA’s six-figure salaries to its president and vice-president documented in its tax returns may also raise a few eyebrows.)

IFANCA casts itself as an educational entity of sorts, promoting “knowledge” and “community development” with respect to halal foods.  But it does not base its claim for public charity status on its educational or religious mission, but rather by describing the inspection fees as public contributions.

IFANCA’s tax approach makes it relatively unique among food certification groups such as organic, vegan, and kosher certifying entities.  Several U.S. organic food certifiers are tax exempt on the bases of Section 501(c)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code because they have an agricultural mission—not on the basis of any professed public charity mission under 501(c)3.

The Vegan Awareness Foundation, which is a major certifying entity for vegan foods, maintains tax-exempt status on the basis that it receives a substantial portion of its revenues from donations or grants—not from site inspections.

Many kosher certifying entities are set up as regular businesses and pay taxes.

The IFANCA case illustrates a flawed federal system that accepts 99 percent of all claims for tax-exempt status.  The IRS can start making amends by revoking IFACNA’s tax-exempt status.

Moreover, due to its tax-dodging behavior and World Muslim League affiliation, consumers should avoid buying any IFACNA-certified foods, and grocers should refrain from stocking their shelves with such products.

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Second “Muhammad” woman pleads guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns

August 10, 2011

Two tax preparers have pleaded guilty within the past 40 days to filing false tax returns.  The schemes of both women involved trickery to obtain the earned income tax credit for their clients.

First we had Sonya Muhammad of Calhoun, Louisiana.  From a Department of Justice press release:

TAX PREPARER  PLEADS GUILTY TO FILING FALSE CLAIMS FOR TAX REFUNDS

SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A.  Finley announced today that Sonya L. Muhammad, 32, of Calhoun, La., pleaded guilty to filing false claims for federal income tax refunds. Muhammad was indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2010 on 31 counts of aiding and assisting in making false returns and 1 count of structuring. In May 2011, a superceding indictment was returned adding six more counts of filing false returns.

Muhammad owns and operates a tax return preparation business in West Monroe. At the change of plea hearing yesterday, Muhammad admitted to preparing and filing tax returns at her business knowing that the returns  contained material false claims. Between 2003 and 2007, she prepared and filed at least 31 tax returns that were materially false with regard to items such as dependants and wages in a scheme to inflate the Earned Income Tax Credit that the taxpayer would receive from the IRS. In 2011, while out on bond for these offenses, Muhammad filed six more materially false tax returns. Due to this conduct, Muhammad’s bond was revoked.

Muhammad pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting in making a false return. She faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison or a fine of $250,000, or both, for each count. She will be sentenced by U. S. District Judge James on October 3, 2011.

Next up we have Jennifer Marie Muhammad of Springfield, Illinois.  From the State Journal-Register on Aug. 3:

Springfield woman pleads guilty in tax fraud  scheme

A Springfield woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to participating in a fraud scheme that claimed more than $1 million in false tax refunds over a three-year period.

Jennifer Marie Muhammad, also known as Jennifer Powers, 42, waived indictment and Tuesday pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit fraud and aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns.

During court proceedings and in court documents, Muhammad admitted that in 2005 she became involved in the conspiracy with her now-deceased stepfather. She admitted that she recruited individuals whose name and social security number were used to prepare 5 to 10 tax returns which falsely claimed earned income credit.

Generally, the earned income credit is available to low-income wage-earning or self-employed taxpayers to reduce the amount of tax due. However, if the amount of the credit exceeded the tax due, the taxpayer received the excess as a refund.

According to U.S. District Court documents, approximately 435 returns were filed and more than $800,000 in refunds were issued by the Internal Revenue Service between March 2005 and April 2008 as a result of the scheme.

Sentencing for Muhammad is scheduled for Dec. 5 before U.S. District Judge Richard Mills. The statutory penalty for conspiracy to commit fraud is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000; for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, the penalty is up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

The defendant may also be ordered to pay restitution.

The guilty pleas follow the June sentencing of Baltimore man Tyrone Robert Campbell, also known as “Mr. Muhammad,”and “Muhammad Shahid,” to five years in federal prison for filing 600 fraudulent tax returns and commiting aggravated identity theft.